October 25, 2021

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Netanyahu instructs Israeli delegation to oppose JCPOA restoration during talks with US – Report

Netanyahu instructs Israeli delegation to oppose JCPOA restoration during talks with US - Report

The Iranian nuclear deal, also known as the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), could be reinstated as talks between the treaty parties continue in Vienna. Tel Aviv opposed the treaty from the start, seeking another format to more broadly limit Iran’s unarmed nuclear activity.

An Israeli delegation expected to arrive in the United States next week to participate in strategic talks on Iran has been instructed to file an objection from Tel Aviv regarding the relaunch of the JCPOA and refuse to negotiate its substance, Axios reported Thursday. citing Israeli officials.

The guidelines were discussed in a meeting reportedly held Thursday between the Israeli prime minister; Defense Minister Benny Gantz; Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and others who will travel to Washington DC. The Tel Aviv delegation should include Israel’s National Security Advisor, Meir Ben-Shabbat; Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, gen. Aviv Kochavi; military intelligence chief Tamir Hayman and Mossad director Yossi Cohen.

During the meeting, Netanyahu reiterated his stance on the nuclear deal, suggesting that its resumption – which implies the lifting of sanctions re-imposed on Tehran when the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2018 – would endanger Israel.

Netanyahu also reiterated that Tel Aviv would disagree with the terms of the treaty as the country is not a party to the agreement, further adding that Israel will only act for its own national security interests.

Earlier, speaking in a commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu said the revival of the JCPOA threatens Israel with “annihilation”, arguing that the nuclear deal in its original form “is useless”.

“I also tell our closest friends: an agreement with Iran that threatens us with annihilation will not oblige us,” he said.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell noted on Tuesday that “important progress” was made during negotiations in Vienna, which began on 6 April to restore the JCPOA by bringing the United States back to the table.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday the negotiations have been positive, but there is still a long way to go.

Israel has long opposed the JCPOA, arguing that Tehran is trying to get a nuclear bomb and therefore poses a threat to the country, the region and the whole world. Iran has consistently denied these allegations. Since the possibility of the resumption of the treaty appeared, Tel Aviv said that any agreement must include further restrictions.

The JCPOA, signed in 2015 to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions, was abandoned in 2018 by the Trump White House, which reset tough economic sanctions on the Islamic republic, and launched a so-called “maximal campaign”. pressure “.

Starting in 2019, Iran has announced a gradual move away from treaty obligations. At the same time, Tehran has consistently denied allegations of wanting to obtain nuclear weapons, pointing out that all violations of the JCPOA are reversible if Washington revokes its sanctions and returns to the agreement.